Category Archives: Nature

Daisy, Daisy….

Daisy

I promised a daisy post and while they are still shining vibrantly in the lane I’m fitting in this little post.

I love daisies, don’t you?  They are the simplest flower, their shape is the one we first learn to draw, the one we doodle while we are on the phone.  They are a link to childhood… did you sit on the school playing field in the sun making daisy chains with friends as I did?  And they have become very much linked with the Open Studios season, as each year the edge of the lane leading to the studio is lined with a mass of Ox Eye Daisies…

ox eye daisy down the lane

Daisy and dog

Last year Kit, my Open Studios partner-in-crime, was inspired by the daisies as you can see from this post  and turned her sketches into a beautiful little etching.   I treated myself to a pack of cards as they are perfect for personalised letters…

Daisy Card

And that would have been all, but for the new book which I reviewed last weekend.  Caroline Zoob, writing in the The Hand-Stitched Home featured a beautiful curtain, patchworked from vintage lawn and lace.

The Hand-Stitched Home curtain

 It would take ages to amass such a wonderful collection but, nothing daunted, I called into our local charity shop just in case someone had been clearing out Miss Haversham’s attic!

Well, they hadn’t..but in a pile of textile odds and end I found a little crumpled treasure which, carefully washed, starched and ironed revealed…daisies!  It’s a wonderful piece of hand stitched cut work on fine lawn, a little frayed in places but this, I think, adds to the charm…

daisy cutwork

Unfortunately my name isn’t Susan…

cut work Susanbut for 25 pence – 25 PENCE! – that’s a minor detail…

cutwork cloth

I have been debating for a week or two what to put in the little window in the new door into my office.  I’m not a fan of nets, I didn’t want to lose the light but I just wanted to hide the interior from prying eyes if anyone called while I was out.  This small piece is perfect and with the help of some  pins I covered with vintage fabric a while ago I have my own little bright white curtain…

lace and pin

lace and pins

pin and lace

window with cutwork cloth

And 25p was well spent, I think you’ll agree!

If you’ve been inspired, there’s still a chance for you to win a copy of The Vintage Home.  Visit the post and leave a comment, what’s your sewing story?

 

Switch Off for a Day in the Sun

Bank Holiday weekends should be the time to switch off, but they rather merge into the background on Planet Penny.  One tends not to do just a five day week when you work from home, it’s very hard to shut the door and walk away, Tim’s working rota takes no account of public holidays and I’m my Mum’s carer.  This means I can’t actually remember when I actually switched off for a whole day.  Which is ridiculous!

So last weekend I awarded myself a Day Off!

First rule: Do Not Switch On The Computer.

Second Rule: Do Not Switch On The Phone.

I started with a trip to our lovely village shop, our Community Shop if you remember, I own at least a brick or two!  I bought the Sunday Paper, a cup of freshly ground coffee and a Double Chocolate Muffin and took them outside in the sun .  I took no photos of this, I’m afraid, but everyone behind the counter in the shop rushed out to take one as I was christening the new chairs and tables! (If you really want to see, you’ll have to check out the Facebook Page!)

Once back home I dragged the old steamer chair under the cherry trees in the garden and filled it with a throw and cushions…

Patchwork Throw, crochet and knitted cushions in garden chair the place to Switch Off…went in to collect the only paper work I intended to do  all day…

Reading the papers to Switch Off…and got back to the chair to find it was being kept warm for me!

Miniature dachshund in garden chairOnce we had established that if anyone was going to sit on the grass it wasn’t going to be me, it was fine.  I not only read both Saturday and Sunday’s papers I went on to finish the book I had started a while ago.

After lunch one of us decided to carry on sunbathing…Tabby cat sunbathing…while the rest of us went for a walk…

miniature dachshund running

(the one with short legs did running)

treesThe name of this lovely lime green tree escapes me, but aren’t the flowers pretty?

green flower

It seems only a short time ago the hedgerows were white with snow, but now it’s blossom.

blossom in hedgerowSo pretty and so fleeting…

white blossom

 

Then home for a cup of tea.

A light supper and an episode of Endeavour finished the day and I woke up the next morning feeling I had a weeks holiday, full of ideas and plans!

This is something I must factor in to my life on a regular basis to keep the creative juices flowing, however hard it is to find the ‘Off’ switch.

I wonder… what do you do to unwind?

 

The Right White

I can’t believe it’s sunny again! The Spring has taken so long to arrive but it’s so nice to be able to get out with Higgins for a walk with the camera.

a walk with a miniature dachshund

I’ve just trawled back through the May posts for 2010, 2011, 2012  and been amazed at the flowers I photographed then.  the cherry blossom was out, lupins and poppies, tulips, wisteria and roses.  There’s an awful lot of catching up to do.  I’m really hoping the back yard get’s a move on or it will look like a desert for Open Studios!

On our walk however, I was looking for ‘White’ and I found it.  A daisy…

white daisy..a feather…

white feather…white sloe blossom…

white sloe blossom…and stitchwort…

white stitchwortHiggins tends to get a little impatient with all the stop/start on his walks.  He does like to keep an eye on me at all times, and if he’s wandered away and found something really interesting (and probably revolting!) just hiding behind something is the best way to attract his attention.  He come’s hurtling round the corner convinced I’m eating all the dog treats!

miniature dachshundI’ve been thinking about white because I’ve been planning to add white to the Planet Penny Cotton range, as I’ve had quite a few requests.    I trialled it at Christmas for the Christmas Crochet Bunting kits and was very pleased with it.   However I’ve been caught out with the dreaded dye batch anomaly, and the yarn I received is not quite the the right white to put the Snowdrop labels on.  I’m probably being over fussy as it’s the same lovely quality and the difference is very slight.  But I’ve decided to sell it on at a reduced price because it may be just what you need to create a bag, or some bunting or edge your granny squares.

White Yarn Pack for SaleThere are just 7, SEVEN, packs left now priced at £20.00, which is £2.00 a 50g/125m ball instead of the usual £2.60 and is a light DK weight.  If you would like to purchase a pack just leave a message on the contact form with your email address and I will get in touch to arrange payment.  The postage in the UK is £3.50, for elsewhere, please ask me.

And now I’m going to get back out into the sunshine and do a spot of gardening.  I think Higgins will be assuming his usual gardening position, however…

helping in the garden…you just can’t get the staff!

 

See you soon…x

 

P.S. Don’t forget, there is still time to enter the Planet Penny MOO Prize Draw and win yourself some gorgeous business cards!

 

All Sheep Shape…

daffodils in the sun for a Sheep shape post

Have you heard the sound of birds singing and  sheep dancing on Planet Penny this week?   It’s all because the sun is shining and I have finished my piece for the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios Taster Exhibition at the Forum in Norwich….yippee!   I’ve just looked back and found I published my Ta-daaa moment for the last piece almost exactly a year ago today, you can read it here.   And I said “This has existed in my head for so long it was rather a shock to realise that I hadn’t actually made it yet, so I’ve been working on it all week” And I can say exactly the same this year.  It’s amazing how a deadline focuses the mind!

But first, the sunshine.  It’s still not very warm, but it was a relief to wake up yesterday morning and realise the wind was not whistling in the chimney which it’s been doing for days.

frosty gardenI’ve had the doors open into the garden for the first time this year (and kept my fleece on) to let some fresh air into the house and Henry and Higgins have appreciated being able to wander in and out as they please.  Henry has a spot on a warm paving slab where in a few weeks he will be able to get spaced out on Cat Mint…

Tabby cat in the garden

…and Higgins parked himself under the bird feeder to make sure no pesky birds could get at the little dish of water I  put out for them.  He found it was particularly delicious, so much nicer than the inferior water in the dog bowl!

miniature dachshund

There’s a lot of bare earth in the garden, even the weeds are holding back, but there are patches of Spring to enjoy…

purple crocus

white crocuses

mixed crocuses

frilly daffodilAnd so to my big project for this week.  I really wanted to do something completely different this time, to step away of the bright colours, the crochet, the small things.  Also to challenge myself on the needlefelt front and make something much bigger than little birds and mice.    So I’ve used a very subdued palette…

sheep fleeceNatural Merino fleece with a background of charcoal grey.

So can you guess what I made? Well, of course it’s a sheep!

needlefelt sheep for NNOS 2013It’s actually quite hard to photograph and get the angle right…

needlefelt sheep for Taster Exhibition NNOS 2013

It’s called ‘How to Knit a Sheep’… (but please don’t ask me for a pattern!)

'How to Knit a Sheep' NNOS 2013

The knitted part starts off as unspun fleece and gradually reduces in thickness until it becomes  undyed 4 ply to knit the lacy part.

Needlefelt Sheep for NNOS 2013

knitting for 'How to Knit a Sheep' for NNOS 2013This has been a rare moment when the finished piece is almost the same as the picture in my head, hence the singing and dancing!  As you can imagine, I haven’t done a lot else this week but there are exciting Planet Penny things in the pipeline which I hope to share with you soon.

It’s Handmade Monday again this week so I’m linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour  and I’ll be back very soon…x

 

 

Waiting for Spring

Happy Easter!  It seems strange to start a post entitled ‘Waiting for Spring’ that way but we are really stuck in some topsy turvy weather at the moment.  Hard to credit getting up on the first morning after the clocks change for British Summer Time to a sprinkling of snow!  We’ve actually got off lightly here in Norfolk as far as snow goes, the pictures of devastated farmers digging their sheep out of snowdrifts in other parts of the country have been heartbreaking.  We’ve just got the Arctic blast coming straight off the North Sea and hitting us sitting on the exposed lumpy bit sticking out of the East of England to contend with.

So I’m sharing a pretty Spring like picture to cheer us up…

lollipop broom bush for Spring

Higgins is not a fan of going out in the cold and I’ve had a running battle with him over the building of dachshund ‘nests’ out of the soft furnishings.  He’s only really happy when he has buried himself  and if he finds himself on the sofa with no available ‘blankie’ he will grizzle until he’s been covered up.

Since he’s eaten the corners of all the old cushions he now has a cushion of his very own, and a fleece blanket he can do whatever he likes with.  Unfortunately, he feels these are just not good enough, and compare very poorly with the fluffy throw I have draped over the back of the sofa, and the new velvet cushions in anemone colours I rashly bought a few weeks ago.

Every time my back is turned, this happens…

miniature dachshund keeping warm

…and he might look guilty…

Miniature dachshund looking guilty

…but that doesn’t mean he’s going to move!

I’ve reached a bit of a hiatus on Planet Penny just now.  It’s always slightly problematic judging  stock levels with the Planet Penny cotton because I don’t have a huge amount of space to store it.  Unfortunately an unexpected rush of orders has coincided with a couple of colours being out of stock at the suppliers so it’ll be first come first served on the few packs remaining until the middle of April.

But…

There are some changes afoot.  I’ll be trialling a new pack, which some of you have been asking about for a while AND I have a new venture in the pipeline which I will tell you about later on in the year, so I’m not standing still by any means.

Meanwhile, Open Studios is on the horizon and I have started an ambitious needlefelted piece for exhibition so a lull on the cotton front is probably a good thing.  There are only so many hours in the day!   It’s refreshing change to be doing something creative and challenging  just for me,  I hope it turns out looking at least a little bit like the image in my head.

Just a reminder, the Bunny crochet pattern offer ends tomorrow, Easter Monday at 5pm UK time.  After that it will be available through the Etsy shop, but for now it’s still yours for FREE!

I changed the yarn to make this version, a big soft squidgy version as a baby toy…

big spring crochet bunny

big crochet bunny for Spring

I’m off now to dig Higgins out of his latest nest, put on his coat and march him round a field or two…

Norfolk Field - Spring

…and then get back to my felting needle.  Don’t forget to nip over the Handmade Harbour to see what’s going on for Handmade Monday this week.

I’ll see you soon…x

 

Feeling Blue…and Grey.

dry mud

This is a post in two halves because I’ve had a few days where my usual Pollyanna disposition has been conspicuous by it’s absence.  I’ve been in two minds too, as to whether to even write the post but in the end I felt that appearing relentlessly upbeat  is probably a tad annoying and maybe letting on about the down times is a good thing (occasionally)

gloomy skies and feeling blue

It’s not been helped by the weather.  Not just the cold, but the unrelenting gloom.  I don’t function well under sullen grey skies and feel like I’m carrying the weight of them around balanced on the top of my head.  I know this means I’m feeling blue but I love blue, and grey, well not so much.

Add to this an M.E. flare up, my other half being in the middle of the North Sea and the boys heading off back home to the South Coast it’s been a bit grim round here, I’ve definitely been Mrs Grumpy.

footpath and grey skies - feeling blueBut today there was sunshine.

Norfolk Sky - feeling blue

The aches and pains have subsided a little so I could enjoy my walk with Higgins properly and I could almost see the flowers in the garden opening…

purple crocus

primroses

periwinkle

yellow crocus

Apparently the Met Office consider March 1st as the first day of Spring, so the end is in sight.  Lets hope it sweeps the grey away!

I celebrated the sunshine by announcing an upcoming Facebook Giveaway which will happen when I reach the 2000 ‘likes’ milestone so if you’d like the join in the link is here.

crochet flowers on a plate…and I also indulged in some silliness with a little sheep.  I retired the sheep I’d had on my keyring for some years when I changed my car and swapped it for a crochet heart keyring, but despite looking a little battered and tired I couldn’t bear to part with her.

So after a quick wizz around in the washing machine she has now been spruced up and given another car based role.  Together with her knitting she’s going back in the car to sit on the dashboard to bring a spot of Planet Penny colour to what is alas, a grey car!

knitting sheep

Next step, a crochet cushion or two!

Back soon …x

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...